I’m Sorry, Lord
By Shirley Brosius
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1
Do you ever get tongue-tied praying? As I recited the Lord’s Prayer in our church, I stumbled over the line “forgive us our sins.” Just minutes earlier, as I drove into the parking lot, I noticed a family—mom, dad, three kids—walking on the sidewalk by our church. The thought popped into my head to invite them to Sunday school, but as I walked by, both parents stared at their cellphones and didn’t make eye contact or nod hello. I lacked the courage to disturb them.
The Holy Spirit had prompted me to invite them, and I was too timid. We may be pretty good at avoiding sins of commission. We may not swear or steal or gossip. We may honor our parents and love our neighbors and donate to charity. But do we miss spontaneous opportunities the Lord gives us to do good?
David, the ancient Israelite king, prayed for forgiveness when he committed adultery: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1).
I offer a similar plea when I realize I haven’t obeyed God in one way or another. Perhaps I didn’t visit a sick friend when prompted or withheld forgiveness from someone who wronged me. I’m just as much in need of forgiveness as the one who rebelled more blatantly.
I still think about that family I passed that morning. They say it takes seven touches before a person will respond to a church invitation. I missed the opportunity to be one of those seven. That day I prayed for forgiveness and asked God for another chance to touch someone for God.
Shirley Brosius, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries devotional project, is the author of Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference and coauthor of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, which she wrote with two speaking partners, Kim and Janine. They call themselves Friends of the Heart (www.friendsoftheheart.us) to speak at women’s retreats and events throughout the East. Shirley has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and devotional publications. She’s married with two married sons and a daughter waiting in heaven. She loves to read, write, and keep up with five grandchildren.
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Originally published Tuesday, 22 January 2019.